Transportation is our city’s biggest opportunity and our biggest challenge for reducing our carbon footprint.  60% of Santa Monica’s Green House Gases (GHGs) come from transportation.  Thankfully, Santa Monica is a compact city with a rich variety of shops, services and entertainment within easy reach by bike, transit, scooter and even walking.  The average trip in Santa Monica is under 3 miles and relatively flat, very doable on a bike.

Electric bikes (ebikes) make this even easier, providing gentle assistance for getting up hills, dealing with headwinds or helping you get someplace quicker without breaking a sweat.  Lyft is bringing rental ebikes back to Santa Monica.  Shortly after Uber pulled the popular Jump ebikes from our streets earlier this year, Lyft acquired the system and re-branded it.  Soon, up to 500 Lyft ebikes will be available for rental here.  https://www.dailybreeze.com/2020/09/28/lyft-to-launch-ebike-service-in-santa-monica/

Photo courtesy for Lyft.com

Ebikes and scooters are super-efficient electric vehicles because they use only a tiny fraction of the power and resources of  full-size EVs, and of course they have no emissions.  Their light weight and small tires mean ebikes create barely any tire and brake dust, which are significant particulate pollutants that all cars produce.  And the battery pack in a typical ebike is less than 1/100th the size of a typical EV’s battery.  Talk about resource efficiency!  For those who prefer to own their own, most bike shops carry a variety of ebike models now.  Take one for a test ride!

Of course many people are reluctant to ride bikes because of concerns about sharing the road with motor vehicles.  Numerous surveys have found that a majority of people would be willing to use a bike more if they felt safe.  Thankfully Santa Monica has one of the best bikeway networks in Southern CA.  But even this has its gaps and challenges.

To take our bikeway network to the next level, Santa Monica is planning to add several new protected bike lanes throughout the city in coming years through an amendment to our city’s Bike Action Plan.  This will create a backbone network of low-stress routes, separated from cars, making travel by bike, scooter and ebike an even more inviting way to get around!  The Bike Plan amendment will be coming before our city council this Tuesday, October 12, 2020.  Learn more about the updated plan here.

Help CASM voice our support for the Bike Action Plan by emailing us at climateactionsantamonica@gmail.com You can also email the council or phone in to voice your support directly. Contact info is here.

Mobility solutions are climate solutions!

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